I just watched this weeks Panorama on Northern Ireland. It was horrific.
But not entirely surprising.
It told a new half truth about the murky, murderous political world I grew up in. And all the more disgusting because the "democratic" heirarchy of the "United" Kingdom meted out murder on its own population. It sanctioned the mowing down of young men by tommy gun toting, brainwashed psychos because "if you were standing in an area, you were a terrorist."
The dirty, Government sanctioned murder squad, the Military Reaction Force (MRF) were exposed and revealed not in the way its members had hoped, ie as a heroic column against terrorist, but as a bunch of black-ops agent provocateurs who stoked the fires of hatred higher and didn't care whose lives they destroyed on the way.
During the eighties, I stood in manys an area with manys a person from all corners of the political, boxed in, sectarian conflict and I could have been, by their awful assessment, discounted as guilty by association. I could have been shot in many areas in retrospect I wasnt safe. I had this perhaps niave determination as a teenager and in my early twenties that I would not be segregated and told where I was not allowed to go. Pubs, clubs, towns and friends criss-crossed dreadful, malicious, sectarian lines.
I think I need to explain my views. This will ensure all "sides" criticise me for niavety; for excusing the "enemy."
I hate the elitist, aristocratic, pretence at democratic UK state. I am a Republican Socialist. I came from a Northern Irish unionist town. I come from a unionist with a small u, family.
I have been a Republican -anti-elitist for those of you who are still pousoned by the demonisation of words that challenge our Etonian owned excuse for a democracy- most of my adult life (and through out my late teens).
I know many "closet" republicans in Northern Ireland from my ex-hometown, though most of them are unionist, unlike me.
As far as Ireland goes, I personally believe it would be better off united- and I believe it would be a fairer place to live than it is separated. I am not a nationalist, either be that Irish, Scottish or British. I am an internationalist.
But, for years I had to do my best (sometimes unsuccessfully) to keep my belief in a proper, bottom up democracy secret because of the odd belief that unionism and monarchism were on one side and republicanism and the want for a reunited Ireland were on the other side.
When I was 15 years old, I found a book in my (state) school library. It was a book on Marx by the father of present day Guardian columnist Martin Kettle. Back in those days when so called "socialist" organisations were murdering workers, on reading- and thinking "this is just as I think," and not wanting to be seen to be associating myself with terrorist groups many said at the time were funded by the USSR, I nicked the book and told no-one about it.
I could not not equate what I was finding out about fair, democratic, green, equal, socialism and what was being associated with it both in Northern Ireland and worldwide. I could not equate my feeling that it was unfair that people I knew struggled to pay bills, yet their tax money they struggled to earn was used to uphold a system in which one family were given millions of pounds and huge access to, and an inequitable amount of power.
Those are my views on Northern Ireland and the UK monarchal system in a (simplistic) nutshell. I now live in Scotland and want to see Scotland taking the reigns of its own destiny. I want to see Scotland free of the dreadful aristocratic, heirarchical system. But I would not kill for that ideal, nor my ideal Ireland.
I would fight back if attacked. Although I am a non-violent protestor, I am not a pacifist. I would defend marginalised people and certainly if houses were being torched- friends, family, working class people of any ethnicity - could rely on my support as best as I can give it.
And this is what, for a short time happened on the streets of Belfast in 1968.
But then sectarian; tit for tat; drive by shootings; pub bombings, vicious, sociopathic... State Sanctioned black ops; psycopathic, poisonous, polluted, illogical politics smashed families, ruined lives... Poisoned minds. Killed.
Friends and family were killed in the name of Ireland, socialism, the union, the Queen, the Union fleg and the Starry Plough. And none of these murdering bastards shooting unarmed civilians or bombing pubs or shooting construction workers, local policemen, milkmen, dancers, pop bands or mothers represented me, my friends nor my family. And none of them, from Thatcher, I. K. Paisley through to Martin McGuinness and shady, vicious Loyalist gangs represented my beliefs.
Because of these "leaders;" this minority of people who saw life as cheap; as collatoral... people I loved suffered. And continue to suffer on these false "sides;" these non-political sectarian divides created in order to stop working class people unite and take what us theirs from the grabbing, vicious aristocratic hands.
So no, Attorney General, John Larkin; the ordinary people from all parts of Northern Irish/ Irish/rUK do not want justice suspended. They, we, deserve to know who and why these people killed and maimed and poisoned our population. Our communities. Our mothers, brothers, fathers; sisters, babies and unborn.
As a republican and at present a UK "brit" passport holder and taxpayer, I support my nationalist and unionist, socialist and capitalist, ghettoized and middle class brothers and sisters in their want for truth and justice and need to build faith in society.
Murder is murder. Hatred is hatred. Bullying is bullying.